DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor has advised Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat to follow his Pakistani counterpart’s vision for regional peace instead after he admitted ‘following’ General Qamar Javed Bajwa in an interview.
“I follow him very well, I follow him whatever he says, I keep taking feedback, I follow him where he goes, I know where he visits … all that I follow. Well, he is the chief of Pakistani army so I have to follow him,” the Indian COAS was heard saying in an interview, a clip of which was shared on Twitter by the chief military spokesperson on Saturday.
Taking to Twitter, Maj-Gen Ghafoor said Gen Rawat should rather follow his Pakistani counterpart’s vision for regional peace, stability and progress. “For that India has to ‘unfollow’ enmity with Pakistan,” he added.
The tongue-in-cheek comment by the head of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) comes amid heightened tensions between the nuclear-armed arch rivals in the aftermath of a suicide attack that killed over 40 Indian paramilitary personnel in occupied Kashmir last week.
Earlier in the day, the Foreign Office announced setting up a “Crisis Management Cell” in the wake of deteriorating situation between the two countries.
The move came a day after India moved thousands of paramilitary troops to further bolster its security presence in the occupied valley.
New Delhi authorised and airlifted at least 100 paramilitary companies to the occupied zone following the detention of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief Yasin Malik on Friday and the arrests of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) workers in the latest crackdown against the resistance leadership.
The banned Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) group had reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack but New Delhi blamed Islamabad and threatened a retaliatory attack.
In response to India’s allegations, Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised to conduct an investigation if New Delhi provided actionable evidence. He also warned that Pakistan would ‘retaliate’ if attacked.